Navy establishing accelerated response capability cell to support Ukraine, Taiwan, other contingencies

The MARCC will support security cooperation with allies and partners.
Fire Controlman (Aegis) 3rd Class Thomas Tecchio stands the SPY radar system control watch aboard Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Barry (DDG 52) as it transits the Taiwan Strait during a routine transit Sept. 17, 2021. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Justin Stack)

The Department of the Navy is creating a new Maritime Accelerated Response Capability Cell to facilitate security cooperation with allies and partners, with an initial focus on Ukraine and Taiwan.

Frederick “Jay” Stefany, acting assistant secretary for research, development and acquisition, announced the establishment of the MARCC in a May 2 memo, which was obtained by DefenseScoop.

The new cell will “ensure swift, comprehensive DON support to critical Department of Defense (DOD) priorities and ongoing crises. The MARCC will coordinate and prepare DON responses to urgent DOD security cooperation tasks, contingency operations support, and other identified priorities. It will posture DON components to respond swiftly to current and future critical needs. The MARCC will initially focus on Ukraine, Taiwan, and contingency support, and will have inherent flexibility to adapt to new conflicts or urgent DOD requirements and tasks,” per the memo.

Among its many tasks, the group will identify “actionable suites of capabilities” that could aid U.S. allies and partners; lead cross-functional teams to develop “creative solutions” to capability gaps; and oversee “agile and urgent” provision of capabilities needed to address current threats, “offset” future threats, and enable friendly forces to have an operational and technological edge over adversaries.


Assistance packages could be tailored “across the spectrum of conflict” and include “high, medium, and low-end naval warfare capabilities,” according to the memo.

The cell will include a cross-functional team with representatives from the Navy secretariat, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Marine Corps headquarters, systems commands, program executive offices, warfare centers, Navy R&D enterprise, and the fleet.

The MARCC is to be led by an executive director who will serve as the top adviser to Navy leadership on “strategies and responses for urgent security cooperation tasks, contingency operations support, and other identified rapid response priorities” — with oversight provided by a board of directors co-chaired by the deputy undersecretary for policy and the principal military deputy assistant secretary for research, development and acquisition.

DefenseScoop is awaiting responses from the Navy regarding whether an executive director for the new cell has been appointed and when it is expected to be up and running.

Directives for the MARCC “will remain in effect until ordered no longer needed,” Stefany wrote.

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